Aim: To evaluate the short-term efficacy of intravitreal injections of bevacizumab for severe retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).
Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted of 23 consecutive eyes (stage 3, 3 eyes; 4A, 18 eyes; 4B, 2 eyes) of 14 patients with vascularly active ROP considered at high risk for progression or development of tractional retinal detachment despite conventional laser ablation therapy. Patients received an intravitreal injection of bevacizumab (0.5 mg) either as the initial treatment (15 eyes) or at the end of vitrectomy (8 eyes).
Results: After injection of bevacizumab as the initial treatment, reduced neovascular activity was seen on fluorescein angiography in 14 of 15 eyes. In three eyes, a tractional retinal detachment developed or progressed after bevacizumab injection. No other ocular or systemic adverse effects were identified. Vitrectomy was performed in 20 eyes and the retina was reattached after one surgery in 18 eyes. Multiple surgeries were necessary in two eyes resulting in retinal reattachment.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that intravitreal injection of bevacizumab seems to be associated with reduced neovascularization without apparent ocular or systemic adverse effects and thus beneficial for treating severe ROP that is refractory to conventional laser therapy.